Beam Insertion Part 2: (the hot glory)

Plus some of last night’s fun.

Heath and Pumpkin had the day off and worked on some organizing and cleaning out of paperwork stuff. When I got home we put on swim suits and headed to the neighborhood pool to cool off. This pool is in a park in Brookside and just 1-2ft and open to the public. We parked on the street and carried over towels and toys.


We played with Pumpkin and talked and enjoyed the afternoon. The little pool has a life guard and after a while she blew the whistle and kicked everyone out and did some water tests so we pushed Pumpkin in a swing at the playground until the pool was ready again. We swam until we got hungry then headed home.


Pumpkin learned to be a big girl and not use a high chair while in Florida so we tried out giving her a plate and spoon at the little table for dinner.

She was hungry and did great sitting at her table and eating while Heath and I got working on the kitchen and our dinner. Pumpkin ate a bunch before getting up and checking on us and going back and forth between us and her plate. The great part was she did not throw any food or toss her plate off the table or anything. Heath and I snacked on some homemade spent grains bread and decided to post pone our dinner until Pumpkin was in bed and instead break into some beer that KK and Chiaki brought us from a brewery in Lawrence.


We had a few tubs of stuff from from KK and Chiaki to go through and we needed to move furniture around to make use of the lack of walls and we got started on this. Felicia came home from work and helped us out and we all played with Pumpkin some until it was her bedtime. Then we cooked and ate some rice, salmon and veggies. We were hungry and it was pretty good. After dinner we continued on moving furniture and organizing stuff and unpacking KK and Chiaki stuff. That was pretty much the rest of the night and we didn’t totally finish but we got it good enough for me to take some pictures and now I can continue the beam insertion and the wall removal story.

(Yesterday I left off with Jon and I removing all the roof supports and then rolling the giant beam into place and adding braces. All these pictures were taken this morning so you only get the finished product. Also the story may not be in exact order as the heat melted my brain some and I’m making it easier to tell)


This went really quick and easy and we moved on to the 2nd big beam. Lets call the first one giant beam and the second one large beam. Large beam was 21 feet long, 2 feet tall and the same thickness about 3 inches. Large beam was in 3 pieces in the garage.


We got Amanda and the 3 of us fed this beam up through the hole in the ceiling and into the attic. Once up there Jon and I glued and screwed the 3 pieces together. We measured the angle of the roof and cut a pointy tip to the beam so we could slide it right up to the side of the house/roof. It’s a terrible picture but we ended up cutting and attaching a flat piece of steal along the side of the pointy end of the beam and adding some thick black angle iron on either side.

This made the end of the beam really strong and gave it a wider base to rest on top of the exterior wall. We also decided to do some extra stuff on the other side of the large beam to strengthen where it attaches to the giant beam. We cut some small holes in the beam and inserted handles to make it easier to move.


The beam was too heavy for Jon and I to move far on our own and we had work to do below it. From about 5am -10am the attic was a little warm but not bad at all. From 10 on it got hotter and hotter and more dusty and rough.

Weeks earlier I had added support to the basement and the walls below where the giant beam would rest.

 DSCF4282  DSCF4281

Jon and I needed to add support to the basement and wall below were the large beam would rest. After a trip to home depot we split up and got started. I put studs in the wall on the main floor just below where the large beam would rest.


Jon put a 6×6 beam under the deck below my studs.


Once all our support was in we recruited Stephen and Tony to come into the attic and help us move the large beam. It was over 120F by this point and all of us were soaked in sweat before we even started moving. We had a tight spot to squeze the large beam and had cut some custom notches for it to fit in. We moved the giant beam back a little bit to give us more room. We needed to back the large beam up around the fireplace then rotate it and push it into the slot. We had to avoid letting it poke through the drywall ceiling or rest on something not supported. It was really tough going, the beam was really heavy and hard to move, there were not always good places to stand while moving and it was terribly hot but we did it. It fit into place perfectly and nothing was broken and no one was injured.  DSCF4271

So now we have a huge T in the attic with the giant beam at the top and the large beam coming out the middle of it. Stephen and Tony headed out and Jon and I got back to work.  We screwed in our big custom made hanger and attached the beams together good.

We also added our two smaller hangers to hang the existing stiff backer beam to our new beam.


We even added little decking hangers to every joist on both sides of the beam.


These did not exist before we started but we overdid things and made it better then before. We leveled the beams good to make sure they would not twist or bend and added lots of tall and short braces to make sure it won’t move around.


We added back on the roof supports. Before they were mostly one 2×4 attaching the roof to the wall below the attic. Many were bending from the weight over time and not that effective. So we improved these. We used a bottle jack to slightly raise the roof and then added two 2x4s from the beam to the roof.  Here is an awful picture.


After about 17 hours of hot exhausting work the attic was ready. Anything remotely using the walls for support was now on the huge beam system.



It was a really rough day and heat certainly got to us but we drank a lot of water and pushed through. Jon and I took showers and watched a little tv to cool off and relax then went to bed around 11pm.

The next day I was again busy but back on the main floor with the AC. Tony helped me pull the studs out and the remaining walls. I knocked a board onto his head on accident and we had our first injury as blood squirted out of his head. It bled a lot but was a pretty small cut.  The toughest wall to deal with was behind the oven because I only took down 1/2 of it and needed to remove some cabinets but leave the vent for the oven. It took the most time but turned out pretty good.


So now you can see through above and around the oven.  On the other side I put up a few boards to make a little shelf/bar and then scooted the buffet up against it to cover the wall.  DSCF4273

Everywhere else it was just a mater of removing everything wall related I could and cleaning up any nails or anything and lots of cleaning up.  DSCF4276

There was so much trash to get out and boards to salvage and store in the shop and even some cabinets to hold on to in hopes we can reuse them later on.


Right now there are some boards along the floor and ceiling I need to get electrical stuff out of and take down so we can patch the holes and make it all match but I did not get that far yet. As you know last night we moved furniture around and here is our open room now.

From kitchen sink area looking out.





From the front door.


From the hallway.


The new kids area from the kitchen.


And that is it for now. We have a busy schedule for a while but hope to get a final plan and start working towards it one step at a time but for now we are really loving how open it has become.

Random Alert
Look at Pumpkin do her Michael Jackson “Scream” Impression while at the beach in Florida.

Pumpkin was the first picture and Michael the second if you could not tell. I’m not sure who is more pale.

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